State Report: West Virginia Policy on SLP Assistants Revisited News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   November 01, 2003
State Report: West Virginia
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Professional Issues & Training / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   November 01, 2003
State Report: West Virginia
The ASHA Leader, November 2003, Vol. 8, 3. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.08212003.3
The ASHA Leader, November 2003, Vol. 8, 3. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.08212003.3
The West Virginia Board of Education (BOE) has asked the West Virginia Department of Education (DOE) to review a policy to hire speech-language pathology assistants as independent providers in shortage areas. They have further instructed the DOE to appoint a task force, including West Virginia Speech-Language-Hearing Association (WVSHA) members, to look into alternatives for dealing with the persistent shortages of qualified speech-language pathologists in the state.
The BOE’s action came as a result of testimony provided by the WVSHA, with the assistance of ASHA’s State Education Action Team, in opposition to the policy. The testimony focused on the appropriate training and use of SLP assistants. Earlier this year, the DOE developed a proposal to hire SLP assistants in place of qualified SLPs. WVSHA received notification of the new policy a few days before it was presented to the BOE for approval. The WVSHA Executive Board enlisted the help of ASHA’s State Education Action Team to develop a policy on the training and use of SLP assistants in accordance with ASHA guidelines. Following the presentation, members of the WVSHA board were interviewed by the local media and the story was picked up by the Associated Press and carried in several local newspapers.
West Virginia, one of five targeted states under the Schools Focused Initiative, has been partnering with ASHA’s State Education Action Team to pass legislation providing a salary supplement for school-based providers. WVSHA members believe that as a result of their testimony, they have taken a major step toward the recognition of their integral role in shaping policy for SLPs and audiologists working in the West Virginia schools. They plan to work with the DOE to address the controversial policy and offer alternative solutions to statewide shortages. They also will continue their partnership with ASHA’s State Education Action Team to pursue a salary bonus for school-based SLPs and audiologists in the West Virginia schools.
For more information about the State Education Action Team, contact Janet Deppe by e-mail at jdeppe@asha.org or by phone at through the Action Center at 800-498-2071, ext. 4447, or Susan Karr at skarr@asha.org or at ext. 4308.
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November 2003
Volume 8, Issue 21